Jeffrey Keeten's Reviews > The Kind Worth Killing

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter  Swanson
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it was amazing

”Truthfully, I don’t think murder is necessarily as bad as people make it out to be. Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

We are brought up to believe that murdering someone is the worst thing we could ever do, but is it? If a person is leaving a wide wake of broken hearts and battered spirits and in some cases much, much worse, is it really the worst thing we can do for all of humanity to give that person a nudge towards the afterlife? Of course the question remains, are any of us capable by ourselves of being the defense, the jury, the prosecution, and ultimately the judge?

When Ted Severson sees Brad Daggett, a man he has been paying an abundant amount of money to build his dream house, bend his wife, Miranda, over a table and have consensual sex with her, it sets off a string of events that...leads...to...murder.

At the very least Brad should have offered Ted a discount.

Okay, so the guy is banging your wife. She signed a prenup. That silly bitch isn’t getting one more thin dime out of you. You just need to go get drunk, maybe call up an old flame and have some unsatisfactory revenge sex, and call your lawyer in the morning.

Not Ted. He can drink like a fish, martinis in fact, line them up from here---------------to here, but mostly he just simmers on what he saw. He even tries to convince himself that what he saw wasn’t exactly what he saw. Brad was just trying to...nope... not even after six martinis can he convince himself that Brad was doing anything, but SHAGGING his wife.

Ted wasn’t sure what he was going to do until on a plane flight home he met The Lily Kintner. Maybe it is because she is beautiful and receptive to him, or maybe it is just because he has to tell someone and usually a stranger is much easier to spill your guts to than a friend. She doesn’t react the way he expects. In fact, she tells him that his wife sounds like the kind worth killing.

You’d never know to look at her, but Lily is an unusual young woman. She is a woman who doesn’t believe in letting people get away with things like infidelity or lying. She doesn’t believe in turning the other cheek or forgiveness. She realizes there is something missing in her, something different.

Her father is a reasonably famous author, and her mother an academic. Their household was a free-for-all of revolving parties with artists, writers, friends, and lovers of both her parents coming and going throughout her whole childhood. She was mostly left to her own devices, and when one young man took an interest in the thirteen year old with the flaming red hair and the long thin legs,...well...he annoyed her.

”I’d been waiting for two things since killing Chet. Waiting to get caught and waiting to feel bad. Neither had happened yet, and I knew that neither would.”

Now, it may seem like she is just a random stranger with a morbid sense of morality, but as the plot thickens we discover why Lily has taken an interest in Ted’s shattered marriage.

The chapters alternate between characters. We are allowed to see things from their perspectives and what is missing in one chapter can be revealed in the next. It all begins to really heat up when police officer Henry Kimball can’t let go of a hunch and begins to follow Lily. He adores her father’s writing, and after interviewing her a couple of times he is half in love with her, but dribs and drabs of loose ends from their conversations continue to nag at his consciousness. 2+2=3.75

There is a funny scene that I have to share that made me laugh because it reminded me of myself. Lily’s father has very distinct views of the ocean. ”He said it was like looking at death…. I love the beach, everything except the fucking sand, the fucking sun, and the fucking water.” Okay, it made me chuckle again writing it because it is so sacrosanct for anyone to ever say anything remotely negative about the ocean because everyone is so IN LOVE with water. I enjoy looking at the water. I can understand the attraction, but for me it is something to look at briefly and then move on to something more interesting. I have never really trusted large bodies of water. I wouldn’t say I’m suffering from Thalassophobia, but certainly I don’t feel the need to join the masses in venerating the ocean. I prefer solid terra firma under my feet... all the time... besides the water is such a slurry sludge pit of god knows what.

Killers become victims...victims become killers. Yet again Peter Swanson has delivered a neo-noir thriller that reminds me of some of the best of James Cain. There are twists and turns enough to leave your legs corkscrewed together by the time you reach the final page.

I also enjoyed his first book. The Girl with a Clock for a Heart Review

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
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Reading Progress

May 25, 2015 – Started Reading
May 25, 2015 – Shelved
May 29, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 50 (50 new)

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message 1: by Antigone (new)

Antigone Guess it's a good thing there's not a lot of ocean in Kansas...

Fun review!


Jeffrey Keeten Antigone wrote: "Guess it's a good thing there's not a lot of ocean in Kansas...

Fun review!"


Although when I lived in San Francisco I did occasionally go down and have a gander at the ocean. In that case it actually reminded me of Kansas with a horizon to remind me that there was so much more world out there.


Steelwhisper Absolutely lovely review!


message 4: by LATOYA (new) - added it

LATOYA JOVENA Love the review. Like a female Dexter without "the code," plus who doesn't love reading about sociopaths.


Carol This Colorado native has similar sentiments about large bodies of water, Jeffrey. :) I love this review and I'm looking forward to reading both of these books.


Jeffrey Keeten Steelwhisper wrote: "Absolutely lovely review!"

Thanks Steelwhisper!


Jeffrey Keeten LATOYA wrote: "Love the review. Like a female Dexter without "the code," plus who doesn't love reading about sociopaths."

She is certainly on her way to being a form of Dexter, not so much the slice and dice variety, but certainly the taking perceived bad people off the planet. Her "code" is certainly not as strict as Dexter's. Thanks Latoya! I hope you get a chance to read this one.


Jeffrey Keeten Carol wrote: "This Colorado native has similar sentiments about large bodies of water, Jeffrey. :) I love this review and I'm looking forward to reading both of these books."

Shhh don't say that too loud! You are supposed to say. Wow! I just love looking at all that water. haha I've just found it easier to play along. If they are going to have me committed for insanity I want it to be for something other than not waxing nostalgic enough about large bodies of water. :-) Thanks Carol! I'm confident you will like both of these novels.


message 9: by Steve (new)

Steve A couple of points, Jeffrey. 1) Your reviews sometimes tempt me to read things I normally wouldn't touch and are never anything less than interesting, and 2) You probably wouldn't like Lake Michigan either (or the so-called third coast).


Jeffrey Keeten Steve wrote: "A couple of points, Jeffrey. 1) Your reviews sometimes tempt me to read things I normally wouldn't touch and are never anything less than interesting, and 2) You probably wouldn't like Lake Michig..."

Do you have to wear gloves when you go into bookstores? :-) I think I'm always looking for those books that other people have too quickly dismissed. There is an avalanche of books out there and some really good books get buried under the pile. In this case, these books by Swanson are probably actually more popular than what I would normally read. Gone Girl is an example of a book that I will never read because I don't have to... everyone else did. Usually if I read a best seller it is after everyone else has practically forgotten they ever wanted to read it. I would probably be a more successful reviewer if I read and reviewed books while they are hot, but then where is the challenge in that? :-) Group reads are equally distasteful for me because I prefer plowing my own course even if it is through the water of Lake Michigan.

What I like about Swanson is that he is taking the aspects of the hardboiled mysteries of the past and bringing them into a modern setting successfully. We don't really think of ourselves living in a hardboiled noir world, but he actually shows me that those elements do still exist in our society.


message 11: by Steve (new)

Steve Count me as one who appreciates the challenges you take on, Jeffrey. And the fact that you shine light on the ones that might otherwise be left in the shadows is great, too.

My own taste may not be as dainty as I've led you to believe. Then again, I squirm more than some with Cormac McCarthy.

Finally, a small self-correction on my earlier comment. I had originally typed that your "reviews are never anything less than interesting," but in a bad edit I made it seem like I was talking about the books you're reviewing instead.


Jeffrey Keeten Steve wrote: "Count me as one who appreciates the challenges you take on, Jeffrey. And the fact that you shine light on the ones that might otherwise be left in the shadows is great, too.

My own taste may not ..."


McCarthy would be really disappointed if he didn't make us squirm. Whenever I'm in the need of a little shake up there is always McCarthy ready to provide the means. I did really expand on your comment, but some of that is me figuring out what type of reviewer I really am. We all must be so focused these days to be successful. I'm glad I'm able to tempt you to take a second look at a book that may have not looked like a good fit for you at a first glance. :-)


message 13: by Patty (new)

Patty Jeffrey wrote: "Usually if I read a best seller it is after everyone else has practically forgotten they ever wanted to read it."

A man after my own heart. I see no reason to read what everyone else is reading.

Great review, as always.


Jeffrey Keeten Patty wrote: "Jeffrey wrote: "Usually if I read a best seller it is after everyone else has practically forgotten they ever wanted to read it."

A man after my own heart. I see no reason to read what everyone e..."


Thanks Patty! It is almost like having the book to myself when I find those books that others don't know about.


message 15: by Emmett (new)

Emmett So you're saying that you like murder. Wow thats just wrong


Arangi Harvey What about that ending though?! Did not see that coming at all!


Jeffrey Keeten Emmett wrote: "So you're saying that you like murder. Wow thats just wrong"

I enjoy reading mysteries and books with twists.


Jeffrey Keeten Arangi wrote: "What about that ending though?! Did not see that coming at all!"

Both his books have had superb twists. I really like this type of book.


Irena My house is surrounded by ocean, it's mesmerizing. Loved the novel, but that quote on dead ocean sounded pretentious to me. Now you too.


Irena My house is surrounded by ocean, it's mesmerizing. Loved the novel, but that quote on dead ocean sounded pretentious to me. Now you too.


Irena My house is surrounded by ocean, it's mesmerizing. Loved the novel, but that quote on dead ocean sounded pretentious to me. Now you too.


Irena My house is surrounded by ocean, it's mesmerizing. Loved the novel, but that quote on dead ocean sounded pretentious to me. Now you too.


Jeffrey Keeten Irena wrote: "My house is surrounded by ocean, it's mesmerizing. Loved the novel, but that quote on dead ocean sounded pretentious to me. Now you too."

I'm glad you loved the novel Irena! A statement isn't pretentious just because you disagree with it. I thought it was funny because I too understand the attraction of water for everyone, but have always felt like the odd duck out for not venerating it like everyone else. I was pleasantly surprised to read in this book of someone else dissenting with 99% of the population who absolutely love the ocean. Your house sounds lovely! I'm so glad you have found such a place to enjoy.


message 24: by Arah-Lynda (new) - added it

Arah-Lynda I may be late to this review party Jeffrey but my interest is none the less piqued. I may not agree with you about the tranquil effects of large bodies of water but I am definitely going to take the plunge with this one. My thanks.


Jeffrey Keeten Arah-Lynda wrote: "I may be late to this review party Jeffrey but my interest is none the less piqued. I may not agree with you about the tranquil effects of large bodies of water but I am definitely going to take th..."

I have to disagree with 99% of the population about something once in a while. Give me a golden ripe wheat field and a gentle breeze making it move and that does more for my soul than a body of polluted water. :-) I am a confirmed flatlander. I do like the sound of the ocean the times when I've stayed near it. It sounds alive and vaguely menacing.


Michelle Great review.


Jeffrey Keeten Michelle wrote: "Great review."

Thanks Michelle!


Matheus Rios What a great review! You got me even more hyped to read this novel!


Jeffrey Keeten Matheus wrote: "What a great review! You got me even more hyped to read this novel!"

Both of Swanson's novels have been great. I'm looking forward to his next book. Thanks Matheus! I hope you like it.


message 30: by Anjel (new)

Anjel So its "ok" to shoot someone


Jeffrey Keeten Anjel wrote: "So its "ok" to shoot someone"

Uh no. Read the review before you comment.


Lost Mermaid Almost done w/ "I let you go" and looking for my next and now I think this is the one to take from my "to read" list


Jeffrey Keeten Lost wrote: "Almost done w/ "I let you go" and looking for my next and now I think this is the one to take from my "to read" list "

This one is so much fun. I've become a big Swanson fan. I hope you enjoy it!


Arjun Murali Yeah! The book literally dropped off my hands after those climax lines!!! Wtf was that!!


Jeffrey Keeten Arjun wrote: "Yeah! The book literally dropped off my hands after those climax lines!!! Wtf was that!!"

Oh yeah! I was right there with you!


message 36: by Vessey (new) - added it

Vessey Jeffrey, your bit about the beach/ocean and how you feel about it made me feel the way I felt when you told me that you didn’t love comedies. You’re killing me! :)

This sounds very intriguing. I’m listing it. I’m not so much into the crime/mystery/thriller genre anymore, but you got me interested with your, as always, awesome review. :) I love you <3


Jeffrey Keeten Vessey wrote: "Jeffrey, your bit about the beach/ocean and how you feel about it made me feel the way I felt when you told me that you didn’t love comedies. You’re killing me! :)

This sounds very intriguing. I’m..."


Comedies and oceans are illusions of tranquility. :-) They aren't real. This is a taunt, interesting thriller. I really like Swanson in fact his new book is in the mail heading my direction. Thanks Vessey you ocean navel gazer you.


Rachel Aranda I'm glad you enjoyed this book Jeffrey. Personally I found it to be a thrilling book I was absorbed with but was slowly let down by in the 3rd part of the book. I ended up giving it 3 stars.


Jeffrey Keeten Rachel wrote: "I'm glad you enjoyed this book Jeffrey. Personally I found it to be a thrilling book I was absorbed with but was slowly let down by in the 3rd part of the book. I ended up giving it 3 stars."

I've read all three of Swanson's novels and this was my favorite. My daughter has read this book several times. She likes Lily maybe too much. :-) I liked the justaposition of Lily being so morally judgemental about those who offend her, but so morally crippled in feeling guilty over the much larger sin of her avenues of revenge. She is a wondeful femme fatale. I loved the twists that Swanson employed in this one as well which of course I can't discuss, but they certainly had me applauding his plot devices. So no let down for me in the last third. I thought Swanson carefully carried me along to the thrilling conclusion.


Trevor I am curious if anyone else picked up on the Easter Eggs or was it just me reading too much into it? I included these in my review. Let me know if I am nuts or if you agree/have others I missed.

1. There is a "Strangers on a Train" vibe but the author defuses that by having a character reading another Patricia Highsmith novel Two Faces of January.
2. Next, there was a mention of three college girls known as Three Winonas (Ryder) which had to be a salute to the film Heathers, where Veronica, played by Winona Ryder, plots to kill three bitchy girls named Heather.
3. The mention (twice) of the lamb in the freezer is a bit of stretch by reminded me of the episode of the Alfred Hitchcock tv show with Barbara Bel Geddes where she kills her husband with a frozen leg of lamb;
4. Finally, the Detective was named Kimble, which has to be an homage to The Fugitive-about a man convicted of killing his wife.


Jeffrey Keeten Trevor wrote: "I am curious if anyone else picked up on the Easter Eggs or was it just me reading too much into it? I included these in my review. Let me know if I am nuts or if you agree/have others I missed.

1..."


Those are great observations Trevor. I caught the Highsmith and the Kimble references, but didn't catch the Heathers reference or the lamb one. I don't think I've seen that AH episode. Awesome! Good detective work Trevor. Aren't his books wonderful?


message 42: by alexandra garcia (new)

alexandra garcia por que todos los comentarios son en ingles yo los quiero entender plisssss soy una niña y quiero aprender pero en ingles es muy dificil


Jeffrey Keeten milenet oya calderon wrote: "por que todos los comentarios son en ingles yo los quiero entender plisssss soy una niña y quiero aprender pero en ingles es muy dificil"

Keep working on your English! Learning languages is a wonderful experience.


Trevor The Hitchcock episode called Lamb to the Slaughter. Seems it's online if you search. enjoy.


Jeffrey Keeten Trevor wrote: "The Hitchcock episode called Lamb to the Slaughter. Seems it's online if you search. enjoy."

Thanks Trevor!


message 46: by Vessey (new) - added it

Vessey I was so happy to read again this fantabulous review. :) Wonderful word. Someone had used it for one of our lovely friend Deanna's reviews and I decided to steal it. :) I love you <3


message 47: by Brandie Lea (new) - added it

Brandie Lea Slicer I'm laughing so hard about your "ocean" comment. That's how I feel about the sand! This is my next read ...thanks! Lol!


Jeffrey Keeten Brandie Lea wrote: "I'm laughing so hard about your "ocean" comment. That's how I feel about the sand! This is my next read ...thanks! Lol!"

You are most welcome! I'm surprised I didn't receive more hate mail for my indifference to oceans from those legions of thalassophiles. :-)


Σόνια How can you post such things!!


Jeffrey Keeten Σόνια wrote: "How can you post such things!!"

I'm not really sure what you mean. I wrote my thoughts about the plot of the book. I see you are a writer, are you attempting to censor me?


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